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The coming Brazilian elections

The coming Brazilian elections

On current front-runner Bolsonaro, sometimes known as the Trump of Brazil

Brazil is scheduled to have a general election this October, and this article about the current frontrunner in the Brazilian presidential elections, a man named Jair Bolsonaro, describes him as “far-right” and given to racist and misogynistic utterances:

Loathed by much of Brazil for his insults against women and gays, his alleged racism and crude exhortations for “bandits” to be shot down, Bolsonaro has surprised many by becoming a frontrunner.

The only politician currently more popular is the leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a leader who also divides Brazilians — only in the other direction.

Lula would easily win the election, according to polls, but he is in prison for corruption and very unlikely to be allowed on the ballot.

That was written before word came down that, yes indeed, Lula has been barred by the court from running in the election because of his corruption conviction.

Not having my finger on the pulse of Brazilian politics, I had not heard of Bolsonaro until recently. But in general I have become somewhat suspicious of accusations like the ones leveled against him by the left and/or the international press. They may indeed be completely true, but it’s hard to know for certain without actually hearing him and seeing him (and understanding Portuguese, too).

Short of that, I’ll just say that some of Bolsonaro’s utterances sound truly awful—for example, he told a newspaper that one congresswomen was “not worth raping” because “she is very ugly”. And he’s also recently said this, which sounds bad as well:

“This kind of people (criminals), you cannot treat them as if they were normal human beings, OK? We can’t let policemen keep dying at the hands of those guys,” Bolsonaro said on TV Globo’s main nightly news program. “If he kills 10, 15 or 20 with 10 or 30 bullets each, he needs to get a medal and not be prosecuted.”

Again, however, I’d like to see the full quote, embedded in context, because it’s not clear whether Bolsonaro is really advocating open season on anyone in the street suspected of being a killer, or whether he’s just talking about police behavior when someone is already firing at them. As this article acknowledges, “Human rights groups say that police killings are a regular occurrence.”

Other statements of Bolsonaro’s seem to be more akin to common sense, such as the idea that people should be allowed to defend themselves against crime:

But with Brazilians desperate to ditch the status quo after years of recession, rampant corruption and ever-growing violent crime, his provocative positions make him stand out.

In Madureira, which is surrounded by sometimes almost lawless favelas and where residents live with the constant danger of gunfire, Bolsonaro’s pitch for looser gun control to allow self-defense met with particular approval.

“Guns don’t feed violence, just as flowers don’t bring peace,” Bolsonaro said, responding to critics who say that flooding society with even more guns will only increase the bloodshed.

When the left has been in control for years and it has led to “recession, rampant corruption and ever-growing violent crime,” why wouldn’t a significant number of people want a change? And why wouldn’t they incline towards someone who promises to allow them to defend themselves against a growing number of criminals?

“Elites” are fond of telling people what they can and cannot do, but elites are, for the most part, protected against the disturbing phenomena they have created in a way that the regular populace is not. So why wouldn’t a somewhat Trump-like figure have mass appeal? And why would people heed the warnings of their “betters,” who have not seen fit to offer them any other way to deal with these myriad problems except to suck it up, grin, and bear it?

It is quite obvious that whatever it was that led to Trump’s appeal in this country, there are similar (although of course not exactly the same) influences leading to the rise of similar (although of course not exactly the same) politicians in different countries. And the powers-that-be in those countries seem similarly surprised at the entire phenomenon.

[Featured image via Twitter]

[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]

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Comments

Bolsonaro is much like Trump in that he doesn’t have a PC speech filter installed at all. Brazilian politics has been in a leftist spiral for many years, at major expense both economically and socially like the article states. The specific quote is missing the context that he was talking about the coddling of criminals and the unfavorable position police are out in after a shooting. It’s almost like BLM is a government agency there. Many of the wackiest policies our left have been salivating about implementing here have been done in Brazil, with predictable results. Bolsonaro appeals to working people who want a return to law and order. He says things that hurt feelings. By probably the most significant obstacle for him will be overcoming the trepidation felt by those old enough to remember military rule in Brazil. He is very tight with high ranking people and his strong man approach will need to be tempered in order to win.

Bolsonaro sounds like Duterte, whose language is hilariously over the top, but the Philippino majority absolutely love him because he gets the job done. He is winning the war both against out of control drug crime against Islamic terrorism.

If Bolsonaro’s talk about putting 30 bullets in each criminal is about those who choose to fight with the police, I say we need that here too. Not long ago in these United States it used to be standard to shoot FLEEING suspects, not just fighting suspects. “Stop or I’ll shoot” was a standard police warning and it was not an empty threat until some time in the1960s would be my guess, with some states STILL allowing the shooting of fleeing felony suspects.

Thanks to the Black Lives Matter criminals’ lobby (most of who they proclaim to be victims were shot while committing attempted murder), our criminal class, especialky the black part of it, is trying to establish some kind of right to fight with police and still be treated with kid gloves. The old rules were better.

BLM sides with attempted murderers over the people they were trying to murder purely on the basis of race. That is racial sympathy for murder, the most extreme racism possible, and their murderous racism is focused most directly against law enforcement itself. The kid gloves have to come off.

ORDER police to shoot anyone fleeing a lawful order to stop who is reasonably suspected of dangerous felony behavior and make it a firing offense if they forbear without good reason. Bring back the expectation that criminals who resist the police get shot.

What’s driving is approval is a street level reaction to the criminality that has completely taken over the country. Brazil had over 61,000 murders in 2016, and is estimated to have had over 64,000 murders in 2017. Those are astonishing numbers for a country with about 2/3 of the population of the US. (and the vast majority of those murders go unsolved and unpunished) At that rate, they might as well go ahead and have a civil war, the death toll won’t be much higher than it is already.

If Brazil doesn’t get an elected leader who can deal with the growing chaos, they will eventually force the Army to step in and try to fix things. That’s been the default South American model for at least a century now, if not more.

Perhaps Brazil is different, but the far right in America is libertarian. The center is conservative. Neither adopts a philosophy of diversity including sexism. Any deviations are unprincipled and individual. In fact, I think South Africa is the only nation with a progressive Constitution that establishes diversity, sexism, abortion rites, and inherited guilt as the highest law of the land. In America, each is struggling to be established through the Twilight Amendment ex-Constitutional, but the People are resisting the progressive slope, the progressive leap, and unmitigated liberalism (i.e. divergence). #PrinciplesMatter

Brazil is in the situation it is in because of the Bush/McCain/Klinton types it has kept electing.

The Brazilian swamp is just as deep as ours – though ours may be even deeper, with swamp rats being able to hide behind the magnificent economy our Constitution has enabled.

If they elect a leftist there might be a cloth shortage and the beaches will be even more fun.

I have an acquaintance who lives outside of Rio and he is enthusiastic about this guy’s candidacy.
I got the impression from him that there are many people who are “Lula’d” out of the leftists.

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